California's Hispanic population projected to outnumber white in 2014

LOS ANGELES Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:05pm EST

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - California's Hispanic population will equal that of whites this year before becoming the state's largest demographic group in 2014 for the first time since statehood in 1850, a government report showed on Thursday.

That change in the most populous U.S. state will make it the third where whites do not comprise a plurality of the population, after New Mexico and Hawaii.

The shift is occurring alongside nationwide growth in the Hispanic population, which grew to 16.7 percent of the total in 2011 from 12.5 percent in 2000, according to U.S. Census figures.

It also comes amid a national debate on immigration that Democratic President Barack Obama waded into this week when he outlined his goals for immigration reform in a speech in Las Vegas.

Obama called on Congress to give illegal immigrants a path to citizenship, among other measures, a day after a bipartisan group of U.S. senators unveiled outlines of an immigration reform proposal they will try to pass this year.

The newly released report from the California Department of Finance, which regularly crunches demographic figures, says that whites comprised 40 percent of the state's population in 2010, with Hispanics at 38 percent.

California has 38 million residents in total.

The latest projections indicate the Hispanic population "will be even with the number of non-Hispanic whites by mid-2013," the Department of Finance said in a statement.

"Early in 2014, the Hispanic population will become the plurality in California for the first time since California became a state," the statement said.

Dowell Myers, professor of policy planning and demography at the University of Southern California who was not an author of the state report, said the demographic shift that will see Hispanics outnumber whites had already been expected to occur around 2015.

"The change is really slow; it's like two slow-moving cars on the freeway," Myers said.

By 2020, Hispanics will make up 40.8 percent of the California population and whites will comprise 36.6 percent, with Asians at 13.4 percent and black residents at 5.6 percent, according to the California Department of Finance Report.

The state's overall population will grow to 50 million in 2049, the report said. The state will also remain one of the younger U.S. states for the next two decades, due in part to its role as a main gateway for immigrants, the report added.

California Department of Finance reports on population projections are used by state and local governments to anticipate and plan for future needs. They are based on U.S. Census figures and state health department statistics.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Eric Walsh)

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Comments (4)
BlueOkie wrote:
Where’s the INS?

Feb 01, 2013 11:03am EST  --  Report as abuse
Shamizar wrote:
Watch out, third world, here we come!

Feb 01, 2013 3:57pm EST  --  Report as abuse
garyss wrote:
It was the Indians in the first place and then the Spaniards/Mexicans later on, which was due to Spain’s brutal and effective rape and I mean that literally besides the point they enslaved and butchered multi-millions of the native America’s Indian race identity, resources, faith etc, etc. (there is a difference and the brutality of these people did not only come from the first European immigrants, the US transplants as well, who took it by force and so called legal chicanery California (Oh hell, this land called the US) and it’s, Mexican/Spanish land grants. My historical background is not the best, but I sure as heck found out more during my University years than the lame comments I see here. Our Christian ways, not so Christian as our founding fathers even knew that way back then (by-the-way, I am a Mexican American and born and raised in California second generation in 51.) My Father and Italian Mother, lived in a predominantly, high-end town and told me he would not pass down his bastardized Mexican language in fear of obvious persecution and discrimination). My mother told me the same thing, no Italian spoken. English only in the US, come on for crying out loud, most of the folks in this county came from in the first place, Europeans who came here, the majority gave up their linguistic skills along the way. After getting off track on this topic, glad to here these folks are getting due what was taken away and using it as a solid political force and the political rulers are getting the hint. I am having a flash of wasted on deaf and waste of breath syndrome. Come to think, without the Romans introduction Latin in our so called English we would speaking like cavemen with only a shot set of verbiage abilities. It has been noticed by some extremely bright people, that the Indians of this land ponder on how they could or should have not only helped the first landings of foreigners and teach some needed survival skills and safe their fannies, but the jock is, in not an exact quote- How do we get rid of these 300 illegal immigrants?

Feb 01, 2013 7:43pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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